Cybersecurity Insights for 2022
After surviving the challenging year that 2021 was, we can only but wonder what 2022 holds for us. Over the past two years, we've experienced an immense shift in how consumers and businesses accomplish their tasks with the continued shift to cloud and digital. As a result of the increase in digital data and disappearing perimeters, cyberattacks have, unsurprisingly, become prevalent. How did security trends change in 2021, and will we continue seeing these changes in 2022?
The cybersecurity landscape will continue evolving in 2022. This post explores various cybersecurity insights to help you prepare for what lies ahead. Let's dive in.
How Have Cyberattacks Evolved Over the Past 12 Months?
Cybersecurity is similar to warfare. We're at war with threat actors who always seem to discover weaknesses and exploit them. It is a game of countermeasures – for every weakness that cybercriminals exploit, we need to counter it by coming up with robust security measures.
Even so, it seems that threat actors always have new tricks up their sleeves to counter our security measures. According to a recent SonicWall report on cyber threats, cyber attacks are increasing on all fronts at an alarming rate. Ransomware is the largest threat area with over 300 million attacks, which is up by more than 150% since last year. According to Cybercrime Magazine, this growth is attributed to ransomware being lucrative, with over $6 trillion globally in 2021 alone. As more ransomware victims pay the ransom demand, the more the threat actors are encouraged to lodge more attacks.
Another disturbing discovery is that various ransomware groups have found ways of encrypting data backups. While some companies back up their data offline to protect it from encryption, ransomware families are now stealing company data before they encrypt it and hold it hostage until their ransom demands are met. They threaten their victims with releasing all sensitive data or intellectual property to the public. The victims are therefore forced to meet the demands of the cybercriminals to protect their intellectual property and other business secrets.
What Lessons Can Be Learned From the Biggest Cyber Attacks in Recent History?
Some of the biggest attacks in the most recent years include attacks on SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline, Kaseya, and Log4j exploit. The biggest lesson learned from these attacks is that companies, both big and small, need to practice IT governance and establish practical security measures to protect their businesses and confidential data.
Gone are the days of installing antivirus software and feeling a sense of protection. Currently, you need multiple layers of security as the baseline – a better line of defense needs to be drawn, and a better combination of better response and automation needs to be put in place to combat the effectiveness with which attackers use to execute their attacks.
Also, end-users need to be trained on the best cybersecurity measures to further enhance the safety of data. After all, recent reports have shown that 95% of attacks are a result of human error. Making employees aware of current threats and what signs to look for can go a long way in ensuring that your business doesn't become a cybersecurity attack victim.
What Will Cyberattacks Look Like in the Future?
The future of cybersecurity can be summed up in one phrase, "The Quick and the Dead." The main trend in cybersecurity is that it will become the most crucial aspect of running a business.
Companies that can adjust their operations to the ever-changing technological landscape will be able to safeguard their business against cyberattacks, and will therefore survive. The ones that won't adjust to the changes quickly will be put out of business.
Let's face it: cybercrime is profitable and it's not going away anytime soon. Rather, the types of attacks that will be fashioned against organizations will evolve to become even more sophisticated.
Cybersecurity will become the cornerstone of every operating system, application, and policy, and will encompass every aspect of running a business successfully. Businesses will need to partner with proactive managed service providers (MSPs) who offer holistic solutions that will ensure that they are secure.
The federal government also needs to pass laws that encourage companies to install a proper level of security by eliminating fines and penalties for companies that have taken measures to beef up their security. For instance, Connecticut passed legislation that offers special incentives for companies that fall victim to cybercrime assuming that they had an MSP install proper level security.
In short, the future of cyberattacks and how they continue to transform to stay ahead of current security is like looking into a crystal ball. The best move for staying safe is keeping up with the current cybersecurity best practices.
What Are the Best Pieces of Advice for Organizations Looking to Get Ahead of the Cyberattacks of the Future?
Below are some tips that can help businesses protect themselves against cyberattacks and quickly recover in case of an attack:
- Encrypt and backup your data: Ensure you prevent physical access to sensitive data by encrypting. Also, ensure that you backup your data so that you can easily recover it in case of a data loss event.
- Secure your hardware: Use the latest security patches to keep your hardware safe. Additionally, you should use multi-factor authentication where possible.
- Train your employees on cybersecurity best practices: Your employees are one of the weakest points of your security. Conducting ongoing cybersecurity awareness training is vital to maintaining a heightened level of awareness of cyber threats. You should also conduct a simulated cybersecurity test to assess how well your employees are informed about various cyber threats.
- Invest in cyber insurance: It's better to be safe than sorry – and that's the security you'll get by investing in cyber insurance. It will come in handy in case the measures you took failed. If you fall prey to a cybersecurity attack, cyber insurance will help you recover by providing you with financial support to quickly remediate the issue.
- Perform network security scan regularly: You should periodically run a network scan on your system to determine what devices are attached to it and where security vulnerabilities may reside.
DataEcon: Dallas/Ft. Worth Enterprise Tech Services
At DataEcon, we work with our clients, listening to their issues before providing customized solutions. Through our expertise, we can help improve your cybersecurity and the quality and reliability of your IT infrastructure. Contact DataEcon and let us remediate and manage your IT risks.
Special shout out to James and Jon with 4BIS.COM in Cincinnati for their help with this article.